TrainingPeaks calculates the climbing speed of a selection within a workout using the VAM metric. 

What is VAM?

Velocità Ascensionale Media (VAM), measures the average rate of climb for a selection in a workout.


VAM = (metres ascended/hour)/(Gradient Factor x 100)

Gradient factor = 2 + (% grade/10)

How do I calculate VAM?

In order for TrainingPeaks to calculate VAM, it needs a device file uploaded to TrainingPeaks that captures speed and GPS data.

TrainingPeaks Web App


  1. On the TrainingPeaks web app, open a workout.
  2. Select a section on the graph for which you'd like to measure VAM.
  3. Once selected, your VAM for the selection appears in the Right-Hand Summary.

TrainingPeaks Mobile App


Of Note

  • Used in cycling (traditionally, though other sports like ski mountaineering are adopting it) as a measure of fitness and uphill performance.   VAM is useful in making relative comparisons of performances and estimating a rider's watts per kilogram.
  • VAM increases exponentially for every increase in gradient factor at constant power. e.g. 64kg rider with a 300-watt average output:
5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 10% 11% 12% 13%
1180m/h 1215m/h 1250m/h 1290m/h 1340m/h 1400m/h 1475m/h 1565m/h 1675m/h
  • In the absence of a power meter and weight, an athlete/coach can use VAM to back-calculate w/kg.

VAM/gradient factor/100 = VAMw/kg

e.g. gradient 6%, VAM (calculated by TrainingPeaks within the file) 1400 

1400/2.6/100 = 5.38 VAMw/kg

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